Music. How to make a good sound
Use high-quality hosts, samples and instruments. Do not forget that even if the sample is 24 bits, 96 kilohertz – this does not mean that it is of high quality. Look at the frequency response for dips, check the dynamic range. Over time, this will be determined elementarily, by ear.
If a live recording is recorded – a good microphone, a pre and a card. It is necessary to record at the maximum possible volume, which does not give an overload. The limiter at the entrance saves you from level jumps.
Listen carefully to the track one day after writing. Write down what you don’t like there. Correct point by point, from complex to simple. Make sure that the next change does not spoil the previous improvements. After it seems that the track sounds good, try listening to it on ordinary speakers from the music center or on computer soap dishes. Compare with branded tracks of a similar genre. Do not work continuously for more than two hours. It is best to turn off the sound once an hour and go to the kitchen for a smoke, literally for five minutes. If this is not done, the ears will inevitably become soft and you will only ruin what you started.
Launch Wavelab and cut there 3d analysis on your track. Then it’s the same on any brand name (at least Prodigi, at least Portishead, the genre is not important). However, I can already say what you will have there – overload at 60-500 Hz, failure at 2000-20000 Hz. On any branded track, everything, as a rule, is sleek and evenly distorted in frequency and level. At home this is very difficult, but possible. To do this, work more with the equalizer, and try to remove, and not add frequencies (it is better to remove and make it louder), try to spread the instruments evenly across the frequency and panoramic grids, do not forget to compress the rhythmic group, if necessary.
Do not get carried away by quantity. Remember – good music is not one in which there is nothing to add, but one from which there is nothing to remove. This also applies to production. If there is any doubt about the appropriateness of a particular sound or effect, remodel, replace or remove.
Do not try to make the sound crystal clear. If it is initially dirty, then without special knowledge and devices to make it clean without loss will not work. If you still really want to, then here are a couple of tips: find out which track is dirty sound, try to remove, replace or knead it. If it doesn’t help, it means something with information.
Do not try to make the sound very loud. Do not abuse compressors, especially multiband ones – they very seriously distort sound.
The ideal mix is when the track does not require mastering at all. We often use a spectrum analyzer, as well as render and watch a progressive level, try to keep it level throughout the track. The smoother the track, the less mastering and, accordingly, destructive editing.
Alternate sound control between speakers and headphones. It is better that there are two headphones – DJ, such as Pioneer or Sony MDR-series and monitor, such as AKG K141 / 240. It’s also good to listen to a big sound. After that, it immediately becomes clear what was happening, although be careful – powerful acoustics camouflage some flaws, for example, unprocessed high frequencies.
And finally, more naturalness! Even when you write some wild glitch drums, imagine that they are played by a live drummer, respectively make volume, panorama, etc. The same thing with bass, keys and other instruments. Do not be lazy to slightly change the repeating parties, non-linearity is almost always better.
Which compressor is better to use for mastering?
Multiband, i.e. providing compression over a selected frequency band. This is a fairly powerful destructive processing method and DO NOT use it as a creative effect. If the starting and ending sounds are very different – translate the original track. I do not recommend using such mastering plugins as Waves C4, Mackie Final mix, iZotope Ozone. They spoil the sound very much. Over time, this becomes noticeable. Better to use PSP Vintage Warmer, PSP MasterComp, Waves L3, DiscoDSP Trillme.
Where is better to do mastering? Right in the sequencer?
This is best done at Steinberg Wavelab. Unlike all other editors, he is able to simultaneously include several effects without application. This is convenient for comparing and listening to different fragments. He also has good tools for analyzing audio files and a good mp3 encoder.
How to equalize and generally process the drums?
As you wish . Aurally. There can be no panacea here. Remove unused frequency ranges, mix loops with each other. I recommend doing equalization after the bass line and the main synthesizers. Sometimes it makes sense to use compaction, that is, adding additional single drums to the appropriate proportions, most often it is a barrel. Do not forget to tune the drums!